The election should be held by secret ballot.
- Regardless of the balloting method used, secrecy of the ballot was maintained throughout the electoral process, including during voting and tabulation. It was not possible to link cast ballots to specific voters during counting and tabulation
- The legal framework offered clear guidance on secrecy of the ballot throughout the election
- The legal framework offered clear guidance with regard to the secrecy of the ballot
- The High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature.
- Protecting the right of persons with disabilities to vote by secret ballot in elections and public referendums without intimidation, and to stand for elections, to effectively hold office and perform all public functions at all levels of government, facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate;
- Every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity, without any of the distinctions mentioned in article 2 and without unreasonable restrictions: to vote and to stand for election - on the basis of universal and equal suffrage, to take part in the Government as well as in the conduct of public affairs at any level and to have equal access to public service.
- 1. The Parties hereto proceed from the assumption that observance of the principle of secret balloting means exclusion of any control over voters’ expression of will, provision for equal conditions for free choice. 2. The citizens’ right to a secret balloting cannot be limited in any way and by whatsoever. 3. Conducting of elections shall be executed with the use of secret balloting procedure. 4. Electoral bodies are obliged to assure observance of the conditions stipulated by the Constitution, law, other legal acts that exclude the possibility to exert any control or monitoring over filling in the voting paper by the voter in the place of a secret balloting, performance of any actions violating the principle of voter’s secret will expression.
- Everyone shall have the right and opportunity and in the state of which he is a citizen (b) to vote and to be elected at elections held on the basis of universal and equal suffrage by secret ballot, that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters.
- Every citizen shall enjoy the following rights: b. to vote and to be elected in genuine periodic elections, which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters.
- As regards, in particular, the choice of electoral system, the Court reiterates that the Contracting States enjoy a wide margin of appreciation in this sphere. In that regard, Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 goes no further than prescribing “free” elections held at “reasonable intervals”, “by secret ballot” and “under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people”. Subject to that reservation, it does not create any “obligation to introduce a specific system” such as proportional representation or majority voting with one or two ballots (see Mathieu-Mohin and Clerfayt, cited above, § 54).
- The right and opportunity to vote and to be elected embodied in Article 23(1)(b) of the American Convention is exercised regularly in genuine periodic elections by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot that guarantees the free expression of the will of the voters. Over and above these characteristics of the electoral process (genuine periodic elections) and of the principles of the suffrage (universal, equal, secret, that reflect the free expression of the will of the people), the American Convention does not establish a specific mechanism or a particular electoral system by which the right to vote and to be elected must be exercised (infra para. 197). The Convention merely establishes certain standards within which the States legitimately may and must regulate political rights, provided that these regulations comply with the requirements of legality, are designed to fulfill a legitimate purpose, and are necessary and proportionate; that is, they are reasonable according to the principles of representative democracy.
- Regarding whether the measure was adapted to achieving the legitimate objective sought, based on the above the Court finds that, in the instant case, the exclusivity of nomination by political parties to elected office at the federal level is an appropriate measure to produce the legitimate result sought of organizing the electoral processes efficiently in order to hold genuine periodic elections, by universal and equal suffrage and by secret vote that guarantee the free expression of the will of the voters, as established by the American Convention.
- Multiple voting should be prevented effectively without, however, violating the principle of the secrecy of the vote.
- Tak[e] all necessary measures to eliminate laws, regulations and practices that discriminate, directly or indirectly, against citizens in their right to participate in public affairs on grounds of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or on the basis of disability.
- To ensure that the will of the people serves as the basis of the authority of government, the participating states will: (7.4) ensure that votes are cast by secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedure, and that they are counted and reported honestly with the official results made public.
- [Consider] signing and ratifying or acceding to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other core international human rights treaties.
- Essential elements of representative democracy include, inter alia, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, access to and the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law, the holding of periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal suffrage as an expression of the sovereignty of the people, the pluralistic system of political parties and organizations, and the separation of powers and independence of the branches of government.
- The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
- Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 to the ECHR states that “(t)he High Contracting Parties undertake to hold free elections at reasonable intervals by secret ballot, under conditions which will ensure the free expression of the opinion of the people in the choice of the legislature”. It does not deal with the vote of citizens abroad in particular.
- The right of eligible individuals to vote unimpeded and the right to vote in secrecy in a ballot box should be protected and enshrined in the constitutions of the SADC countries.
- The right to vote in secret is absolute and shall not be restricted in any manner whatsoever.
- Secrecy of the ballot is one aspect of voter freedom, its purpose being to shield voters from pressures they might face if others learned how they had voted. Secrecy must apply to the entire procedure – and particularly the casting and counting of votes. Voters are entitled to it, but must also respect it themselves, and non-compliance must be punished by disqualifying any ballot paper whose content has been disclosed.
- There should be sanctions against the violation of secret sufrage.
- For the voter, secrecy of voting is not only a right but also a duty, non-compliance with which must be punishable by disqualification of any ballot paper whose content is disclosed.
- In order to secure the voter’s secrecy, the voter should generally be alone in the voting booth. Only in special cases, e.g. blind voters, are exceptions to be allowed. The conditions for giving assistance to voters should, if necessary, be formalised in the electoral law or electoral commission instructions. In any case, it is unacceptable that “interpreters” accompany voters to the voting booth and indicate the name of the candidate for whom the voter wants to vote.
- The list of persons actually voting should not be published.
- Voting procedures [should] guarantee secrecy of the ballot.
- Democratic elections require that ballots be completed by the voters in secret. The secrecy of the vote is not only a fundamental right, but also an obligation. Thus, any voting outside the voting booths is usually forbidden. In practice, however, there are a number of examples in which open voting has been tolerated by electoral officials.
- The list of persons actually voting should not be published.